I’m fed up drinking tea. I finally cracked yesterday morning, while I was in town getting my ski boots attended to. I needed some breakfast, and having still 40 minutes of Edinburgh George St rip-off parking still paid for, decided to go across the street to Cento Tre rather than my usual West End haunt. Regardless of where I ended up, the prospect of having a cup of tea with my breakfast was really too dismal to contemplate. I miss coffee so much, having given it up for the sake of my stomach over a year ago.
Tea is so… featureless. So insipid compared to coffee. At least at breakfast. Tea has its place, but it’s not beside a croissant on a breakfast table. And you can’t get a decent cup of tea in town anyway.
So I marched across the street, full of resolve and determination, with The Guardian clutched under my arm. My sister had texted me earlier this morning.
Get guardian today page 83 of magazine.x
Just like that. No capitalisation. No punctuation to speak of.
I’m not usually a Guardian reader, in fact I don’t normally read newspapers at all. When I do buy one, it’s the Telegraph, which is more an indication of my crossword preferences, rather than any political leanings. The Guardian crossword, on the odd occasion that I’ve attempted it, has remained defiantly inscrutable.
I looked up page 83 of the magazine to find the Food section. And did a sharp double-take. It’s not every day you open a national broadsheet’s magazine to find your granny featured in the text. The writer was a chef friend of my sister’s, who was promoting one of his recipes which combined potatoes and pasta. Our granny was name-checked as someone who, being Irish, was unable to eat a meal without potatoes. I’m not entirely sure that gran would have approved of Mr Ottolenghi’s potato lasagne. Might have been a bit new-fangled for her. And despite being born in Co Donegal, she might even have disputed the ‘Irish’ tag, as someone who deliberately chose British citizenship over Irish after the Partition in 1921…! But I daresay she would have held her hands up and acknowledged that no meal is complete without some potatoes.
I sat back with my black coffee and almond croissant and reflected on what our granny would think of my lifestyle today. I can still see her shaking her fist at me, usually when she was baby-sitting us and I wouldn’t shut up and go to sleep. When she wasn’t shaking her fist she was often waving her walking stick in a vaguely threatening manner. When I wasn’t playing golf with it, that is. It was a very nice blackthorn walking stick, and its shape bore a strong resemblance to a driver, at least to me. I have no idea what she would make of me driving into town yesterday when I could have walked, having my ski boots adjusted in preparation for a ski holiday in the French Alps next month, and settling down to a continental breakfast in an Italian eatery while reading the Guardian. And no porridge or potatoes to be seen anywhere.
How times have changed.
Oh, and the coffee? It was AMAZING.